Monday, March 18, 2013

I tried to explain birth to my 3-year-old.

Peyton is 3 and she asked me how babies get here.  I know.  Before I get to that, I'm going to take you back about 22 years or so....

In December of 1991 my mom was largely pregnant with my sister, Emily.  I was a few days/weeks shy of turning 4.  As the baby in my mother's belly grew bigger and bigger, I began to wonder what any kid would wonder:  How does the baby get out?

I sat down with my mom and posed the most logical solution a 3-year-old could devise.  "Mom, when you have the baby, is it going to pop out of your belly button?"  My mom encouraged me to believe that, rightly believing that I could not handle the truth at such a tender age (Seriously, I cried in 5th grade during the sex ed. health classes.  And once my mom picked me up from school and talked about puberty on the way home.  I couldn't handle it and I jumped out of the car at the first stop sign and walked home.  Stories like this abound, but I digress...).

I was satisfied with the belly-button thing.  Some time after this discussion with my mom, I was playing with dolls with the neighbor girls, who were my age, maybe a year older.  I remember being at their house and the topic came up of how babies are born.  I matter-of-factly told them how it happened.  Then, they told me I was wrong.  They said that they just talked about it with their mom and their mom said that you pee the baby out.  Pah!  Ridiculous!  So, I gathered them up and took them to my house, straight to my poor mother, and said something like, "Mom, their mom said you pee a baby out!  Tell them that's wrong!  It comes out your belly button!"

I still remember the look on my mom's face.  I didn't know what it meant back then, but having seen it many times since, I know the look is the look of being embarrassed and amused at the same time.  The look of knowing you are in trouble and thinking it is funny.

My mom, smiling, reassured us that I was right.  You know what we had to do then, right?  We marched over to the neighbors' house to find their mom.  That mom marched us back over to my house and said something to my mom that sounded a lot like, "Connie, I had to have this long talk with them.  I explained to them how everything happens.  It was hard.  And terrible.  You can't un-do it.  Tell them the truth."

Then my mom came clean.  She told me that you pee babies out.  I. Couldn't. Believe it.  Why would my mom lie to me?  I mean, peeing a baby sounds far-fetched, but I guess I can believe it.  Why lie about peeing a baby?   Don't worry, this has not scarred me for life, or anything.

Back to present time.

Peyton has been asking about babies since June, when my niece was born.  She reallllllly wants a new baby sibling.  She wants a new baby and she wants to know how they get here.

Peyton: How does a baby get here?
Me:  (thinking I am being clever and dodging a bullet) Well, some people get to their parents through adoption.  Somebody gives them a baby.
Peyton:  Did you adoption Juj?
Me: No....(lightbulb) Juj grew in my belly and was born.
Peyton: ...Did she come out your belly button?

Guys, I should have said yes.  But I couldn't!  I COULDN'T!

Peyton: But how?

Guys, don't judge me!  I was stumped!  It was happening so fast!  She is 3!  I came up with the best answer I could.  And I don't know why I said it.  I wish I could take it back. 

Me: is kind of like a big poop.


Well, I could see the wheels turning but she seemed to accept it.  I thought things were okay....until a few hours later.

She came to me, clearly disappointed, with her head down.

Me: What's wrong, P?
Peyton: I tried to poop a baby (big sigh, lip quivering), but I just pooped a poop.

Parenting fail.  In a few years, I will let Chris field the puberty talk.


Connie Sandoval said...

To anyone who reads this, I don't think Courtney remembers the story correctly. But, she was ONLY 3! She didn't turn 4 until just before Emily was born!

Courtney said...

Mom, while I may have gotten the exact words of the other mother wrong, the rest went down in just that way. I suppose in your senility you have forgotten ;)

Tara Martin said...

Hahaha....thanks for the laugh...guess i need to start thinking of how i am going to explain this so i have time to prepare....

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